Can I Become a Nurse if I Have Visible Tattoos

Can Nurses Have Tattos

Can Nurses Have Tattoos?

Tattoos have become such a common part of our society that it takes a pretty brazen one to cause us to stop on the street and take a second glance. As part of this trend, more and more career fields are loosening their rules regarding visible tattoos and piercings. Health Care isn’t one of them—and that could be a problem for individuals hoping to start a nursing career.

Nursing School Restrictions

In the past, physical appearance has had no bearing at all on the nursing school admissions process. It’s been all about good grades, great test scores, and recommendation letters that stand out from the crowd. However, many nursing schools also include an interview component, and this might be the place where you have to bear all.

Stricter nursing schools might require that all tattoos be covered by the standard scrub attire (a loose, short-sleeved shirt and pants), and might even impose rules against covering tattoos with bandages, sleeves, or other techniques. Less strict schools might allow students to cover visible tattoos, and as long as they comply with regulations, they can remain in the nursing programs.

Still other schools might not question tattoos at all—and that’s something students should be wary of, too. In many cases, what a school will permit and what the area hospitals where they do their clinicals and job interviews will permit are two different things. Always be sure to check individual policies at all the organizations you’ll be moving through.

Working with Tattoos

Different hospitals and health care organizations will have different rules regarding tattooed employees, as well. For example, a hospital that’s affiliated with a religious institution might have stricter rules regarding visible tattoos than an urban hospital that’s understaffed and just wants qualified employees.

Your field of specialization matters, too. An upscale doctor’s office or pediatric floor typically isn’t the right place for your sleeve of tats to be exposed. If you’re spending most of your time developing nursing software and training nurses in the use of it, however, the issue of your tattoos might never come into play.

If you have tattoos and are concerned about your opportunities, talk with other nurses in your area as well as nursing schools and employers. Unless you have highly visible ink on your face or hands, chances are you can work through the issue. Just be sure and know where you stand before you go through the hassle and costs of nursing school.




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